To fulfill customer demand for the Company’s differentiated rig technology and contract drilling services in the Middle East, Ensco plc has ordered two high-specification jackups, ENSCO 140 and ENSCO 141. Both rigs, which will incorporate Ensco’s patented Canti-Leverage AdvantageSM technology, are significantly enhanced versions of the LeTourneau Super 116E jackup design. The new jackups will include design specifications necessary to fully comply with the vast majority of regulatory and customer requirements in the Middle East, the primary target market for ENSCO 140 and ENSCO 141. The rigs are scheduled for delivery in mid-2016 from Lamprell’s newest shipyard located in the United Arab Emirates. The rigs are also suitable for most of the markets around the world outside of the Middle East.
This new rig order reinforces Ensco’s standardization strategy since the equipment package matches much of the proven technology used across the Company’s premium jackup fleet - the largest in the world.
ENSCO 140 and ENSCO 141 will be constructed under a fixed-price contract. Including commissioning, systems integration testing and project management, the total construction cost is estimated to be $430 million, or $215 million per rig. The contract with Lamprell includes options for two additional rigs of similar design.
“Over the past three years, we have successfully contracted our ENSCO 120 Series newbuild jackup rigs well ahead of delivery based on the advantages of our proprietary technology,” said Dan Rabun, Chairman, President and CEO. “While we recognize that many newbuild rigs are entering the market, we believe our new ENSCO 140 and ENSCO 141 jackups will attract significant customer interest based on their unique design, which is predicated on detailed market analysis of customer preferences.”
ENSCO 140 and ENSCO 141 will deliver proven drilling technology, as well as cost advantages for customers and Ensco. Enhanced crane capacity, liquid mud storage and living quarters with 140 beds will translate into significant logistical efficiencies and cost savings for customers. The patented Canti-Leverage AdvantageSM technology, first used on ENSCO 120 Series rigs, also provides cost advantages for customers by allowing them to drill more wells from one location when utilizing the enhanced hoisting capacity at the farthest reach of the cantilever. Other key features of the rig design include a dual-drilling fluid system, a 1.5 million-pound derrick, TDS-8 top drive and a 15k BOP. The rigs will initially be outfitted to work in water depths up to 340 feet and may be upgraded to operate in up to 400 feet of water. They will be capable of drilling to a maximum total depth of 30,000 feet.
With this new order, Ensco now has eight newbuild rigs under construction: five premium jackups and three ultra-deepwater drillships. Since the beginning of 2010, Ensco has taken delivery of 12 high-performance rigs, including two ENSCO 120 Series ultra-premium harsh environment jackups, five Samsung DP3 ultra-deepwater drillships and five ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles. During this same period, Ensco has divested 13 less capable rigs as part of its continuous high-grading strategy. Proceeds from these sales have been used to fund newbuild orders.
“Our high-grading strategy keeps us at the forefront of industry technology - a key factor in our ability to maintain our number one rating in customer satisfaction,” commented Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jay Swent. “By maintaining our disciplined, return-driven investment strategy - where we standardize on differentiated rig designs that precisely match customer preferences - we seek to continue to deliver favorable returns to shareholders.”